Diver City: Q&A with Maxime Tardif

Diver City Logo


Diver City Logo

On my usual nose through Kickstarter looking for games I had missed, which were already funded, I noticed a game called Diver city. The game's page was colourful and the player count of one to seven players intrigued me enough to contact Maxime and enquire more about the game.

He told me that this was his second game after BrilliAnts and one that he had been working on for some time. Below you will see our conversation in full.

After the success of BrilliAnts you return with DiverCity, can you tell me about about this game and the mechanics it uses?

Of course! First, DiverCity is a completely different game than BrilliAnts since it's a cooperative instead of a competitive game. For those who are not familiar with cooperatives, DiverCity is a game where all the players will work together, have a common goal and try to defeat the game! It plays from 1 to 7 players, who represent divers and scientists that try to save DiverCity’s coral reef from the destruction of the industries.

To do so, there’s an action point mechanism that players can use either to move, explore new coral tiles, tell other players what they have in their hand (like in Hanabi), stop hotel resorts from building, refill their oxygen tanks or repair their gear. The fact that players don’t have all information and don’t see the species they have in their hands prevent what we call the ‘’alpha player’’ were one knows the game really good and tell other players what do to.

Before each player’s turn, the game will play an industrial card that will either move the boat, build hotel resorts, build oil platforms and potentially break some of the player’s gear. This mechanism works by turning cards, similar to what we have in games like Pandemic or Ygdrasil.

The game is designed to be quite difficult so that a victory is rewarding! You often have the feeling that you will lose, and sometimes win or lose on the last action in the game. Diver City - BrilliAnts

The game is very unique and I struggle to think of anything with a similar theme. How did you come up with this idea?

The idea came to me two years ago when I was in Malaysia with my girlfriend and two friends while we were taking our diving classes. I thought that it was so colourful and beautiful that I had no choice but to make a board game out of it! Since there are not many games about diving, I thought that it would be a cool idea that could stand out from other games.

At the same time, I told myself that I could do something a little educative and try to use the theme to give people a little awareness on the coral reef destruction issue.

There are some very successful co op games out there do you see this as an influence to this game?

Obviously, before being a game designer, I’m a big gamer!!  So, It would be a lie to say that other co-op games didn’t influence the creation of Diver City. It’s something completely new, but it’s a blend of different mechanisms that are similar to different games. Put together, these mechanics fits the theme and really allow the gamer to feel like he is currently diving and exploring the coral reef! I hope that many people will have that feeling at least!

With such quick funding we can expect to see a lot of stretch goals unlocked can you give us a clue to what these will be and I know you will be concentrating on this game for a while but what can we expect from you in the future?

We were quite surprised to see how quick the game funded, in less than 10 hours we achieved our goal, that was quite amazing! Since then, we’ve already unlocked 10 stretch goals and many more are to come. I cannot tell you precisely what will come, but I can say that sometimes there may be plastic involved, other times maybe some quality ramp ups for everyone, but I suggest you stay tuned to have more information on this.

As of now, we’re planning to launch one game a year for our beginning. If things are going as planned, we’ll try to publish more, and maybe from different authors. That would be really nice, but we need to concentrate on the success of DiverCity first in order to be able to continue later on. If possible, we will like to stand out from other companies by keeping games related to nature and educational things, all that by having fun games! Diver City Game Board

Thanks for your time can you tell everyone why you think they should back this game?

For many reasons, the first one is, I think, because I believe that this is a really fun game with an original theme and a lot of colours! The second one is because if you back it on kickstarter, you will receive several exclusives and promo packs that won’t be included in the base games in the stores later on.

Moreover, the game is less expensive on kickstarter then it will be on retail and also it might be possible to find it on the market at first place as it is for BrilliAnts right now. Since we’re still a small company, we don’t have a lot of ‘’printing capabilities’’ for our games, it’s hard to distribute internationally all at once.

Thanks to you for this interview, you’ve had some really good questions and I hope that you’ve got the answers you’ve wanted!

Diver City thoughts

So as you can tell from the answers above, Maxime is very passionate about this game and his future. It’s not often I back a game just on a conversation with the designer or publisher but that’s exactly what I did here.

If you like co-op games like Pandemic and/or have a large group this game would suit you. I am personally looking forward to this game and am hoping that many more people back so we can get some more stretch goals.

Check out this game on Kickstarter now.